Canning or Freezing Ground Beef...Home Canned or Frozen Hamburger Mix

This is a recipe that I have canned for years.  It is a combination of a couple of recipes from the "Farm Journal Thrifty Cook Book" from 1974 and the “Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cook Book” from 1964.   I like to can it to have it ready on the shelf, to use with no thawing, whenever we want a quick meal.  I also like making the cooking mess one time for a number of meals.  
It can also be frozen in freezer bags or containers.  I can it in half pints for the two of us; double the recipe to can 7-8 pint jars.  A pint jar is 2 cups of meat mixture, a half-pint is about 1 cup.
It can be easily doubled, and I have used either tomato paste and water, or tomato sauce and water, or even plain tomato juice for the canning liquid.  We like the celery in this mixture, if you leave it out, double the onion, or have a smaller yield or follow Ilene Jones suggestion and substitute green peppers, diced.
The chili sauce is my personal addition, it is certainly optional.  Actually, I add whatever other seasoning I want when I use the mix; the taste is fresher, and the mix is more versatile.  I can use it in either Italian or Mexican-flavored dishes that way. 
The rest of the week and next week, I'll share some of the recipes for using this mix.                

                Hamburger Mix - 2# beef
  1             cup  Celery -- finely chopped  
  1             cup  Onion -- finely chopped
  2             pounds  Ground Beef
  2             teaspoons  Salt
     1/4      teaspoon  Pepper
     1/4      Cup  Chili Sauce (optional)
  12           Ounces  Tomato Paste -- more or less
  1 1/3      Cups  Water or broth from mixture
 Or Substitute for Tomato Paste and Water the Tomato Sauce and Water Below
  15            Ounces  Tomato Sauce
    1            Cup  Water or Broth From Mixture
Cook beef in large kettle until red color disappears, don't break up too much.  Drain broth and skim fat if necessary, measure and add water to yield enough liquid.  Add other ingredients to beef and bring to a boil.
Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
Divide mixture among 7 hot half pint jars with 1" headspace. Remove bubbles with plastic knife and wipe jar rim carefully with hot wipe before sealing.  Cover and seal, place in pressure canner (with 2-3 quarts simmering water, check your canner book for amount for your canner), exhaust steam 10 minutes, process in pints or half pints 1 hour and 15 minutes at 10# at 1000’ or less altitude.
Let pressure drop of own accord (30 minutes), open canner, remove jars to clean towel and let cool and seal, setting apart to allow air to circulate.  Remove rings and wash jars carefully.  Store in a cool, dark place.
Can also be canned in pint jars for 75 minutes or in quart jars for 90 minutes, or frozen.  Above 1000' use 15# pressure.  
A half pint of mix contains ¼ pound of ground beef, or a ½ pound in a pint.
Yield:  "7 Half Pint Jars or 3 pints and a half pint”

Use in recipes, or heat the mix and spoon between split buns.  Also can be spread over horizontally sliced French bread, topped with Italian seasoning and  mozzarella cheese and baked 20 minutes for French Bread Pizza.  
Use it in any recipe you would brown ground beef and a little onion for, and simply continue with the recipe, substituting a half pint for 1/4# ground beef or a pint for a 1/2# of beef.  Use several jars if you need a larger amount.

Cheeseburger Cup Muffins

Iowa Spanish Rice

Beef and Bean Burritos

Chili Mac

Chili and Beans

Hamburger Pie

Taco Pasta Salad

One Pan Spaghetti

Easy Pantry Chili

Cheeseburger Soup

Skillet Macaroni Lasagna


  1. That's interesting that this is canned at 10# pressure. I think those people that have put YouTubes up about canning hamburger are using 15. And they're canning with water rather than tomato. I bet this makes a real difference in the end product. Do you think I could use chopped sweet peppers instead of the celery? I guess I'd better quit canning tomato sauce and dehydrating onions so I'll have some to use in this recipe. Thanks so much for posting this! Looking forward to seeing how you use it.

    1. I think peppers would be fine.
      If your altitude is above 1000' you will need to use 15# pressure, according to the National Center for Food Preservation guidelines for canning ground beef, if you altitude is below that, as ours is, use 10#. Overprocessing makes a less desireable product.
      You can use just's not really as tasty.
      Use your canned tomato sauce for this recipe!

    2. Thank you for this! I believe that it will be a very useful canned good for us. I always enjoy your blog. .

  2. I love this idea! Thank you for this recipe, and I'm looking forward to the new ones.

  3. So glad I found this recipe. I didn't can it; just made some up and over the week we had burritos for supper and lunch, and then chili mac for the kids' lunch another day. My husband says not to ever make my old burrito recipe again--only this one! Thanks!

    1. Glad you liked the recipe as much as we can also freeze portions for the recipes if you want it to last longer.

  4. I canned this several years ago and Loved it. Great for camping (no refrigeration necessary).
    I lost the recipe ,so thank you for posting, I'm going to can more.

    1. Yes, exactly why we love it! So convenient.


Hi...we'd love to hear from you.
Comments are moderated before appearing...Thanks.